Fantasy Fiction posted September 27, 2014 Chapters:  ...14 15 -16- 17... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
The physician meets the patient. Surprise.

A chapter in the book Vision and Sound: Their Stories

Physician & Patient: Pt. 3

by michaelcahill

Two souls meet as humans in various lifetimes and in various circumstances. They are unaware of the strong bond that draws them together over and over again.
Previously, Valerius demonstrated an affinity for medicine by nursing a sick sheep back to health. His father acknowledged his good work and entrusted the flock to him. He noticed a mushroom that had grown wild near the forest and suspected that the stray sheep eating it may have become ill from it. He took it to Trellitia, the widow of the former village physician to find out if she knew of it. She took a shine to him and agreed to teach him some things. Julia accompanied her father to town where they ran into Leopold a religious leader. It was unfortunate because Leopold considered Julia demon possesed and she gave him no reason to change his mind with this encounter. We continue the story now as Julia's father tries to explain the danger of letting others know of her delusions.

~~~~~~~~~Julia and her family in town
"Why do you say such things child? I may not care for his company, but Leopold is a man of God. He does not torture or murder anyone. That is the talk that puts you in danger."
"I only speak of what is plainly there for all to see. I do not understand father. Is everyone blind? Are they without the ability to hear? Move, Father! The soldiers come. We will be trampled!" Julia pulled roughly on her father's arm and he let her drag him to the side of the road. She turned her back to the road as though shielding herself from something.
Abramus looked around quickly and made note that no one had seen her display. Mercy. I mustn't allow this exposure again. It could mean her death if the wrong person were to encounter her in one of these moments. "Child, there is nothing there. What is it you see? I stand here and see nothing. Don't you understand? No one but you sees. There is nothing there. It is in your imagination and nothing more."
"Don't be silly, Father. It is as plain as the wheels on our cart. They live and breathe, as do you and my dear brother Cassius who was almost run down. Ask him, Father. Ask him if he did not narrowly escape being trampled."
Cassius looked down as he arrived to the conversation. "Well, Julia. I understand that you believe you see something. I know you believe that. I can't say that I do. That doesn't mean that you are wrong and I am right. I just don't see the world as you see it."
Julia looked forlorn. It was a mood of melancholy difficult to reach through. She didn't display anything in a demonstrative way. Those that knew her well, however, felt her sweet spirit withdraw from them and go to a place that they couldn't reach. She left them even as she stood before them. She would remain like this until she returned. It could be an hour; it could be a week.
Abramus was grateful his business in town was concluded. Julia would certainly come under scrutiny in her current condition. She conversed in whispers and gestures to beings or creatures that were not there. At least anyone observing her could see nothing but thin air in front of her. If she happened to be by an animal or a tree, then it appeared in an almost comical way that she conversed with that.
~~~~~~~The home of Lady Trellitia

"I know of your husband by reputation and I do apologize for the mention of his name. I realize that it is grievous wound to your heart. I am inspired when my father speaks of him and dearly wish to pursue a life of service as he did. To be welcomed into your home, M'lady, is a humbling honor. I do fear that I am speechless."
"Indeed. I fear the onslaught should you regain your tongue, lad. You warm me with your earnestness. My husband was such a man. He was also a man of vision and cleverness. I stood by his side, assisted every treatment, and witnessed every birth. I even went on my own many times when he was indisposed or the need was more than he could bear alone. If you are serious, I am amenable to instructing you. It is a matter of importance to the village as there is no physician of any skill within any reasonable distance. You would be embarking on a journey that would encompass your lifetime. It is not a journey that tolerates a timid step."
"I understand. I have thought of nothing else from the earliest wisps of my memory. I never dreamed that the privilege of your instruction would even be a possibility. Nothing would honor me more than to call myself your apprentice. I am ready to begin."
"I smile at your eagerness. I do expect that your family might have an interest in your decision. I know that your father has a farm and that your strong hands are a great part of its running. Your family's approval is necessary."
"I shall secure it at once. I thank you, Lady Trellitia. I will not disappoint you." He smiled and nearly vibrated with excitement.
"And you have no fear of my witchcraft? Why, the children say that I can turn a young one into a toad with a wave of my hand. Do you fancy water lilies, Doctor Valerius?"
For a brief moment, a shudder started to run the course of his back as he recalled a childhood memory. In the next moment, laughter stopped it from traveling more than an inch or two. "I don’t' pay attention to the silliness of children at play. There are more serious matters to consider." He tried mightily to look scholarly.
"Remember, Lad, joy is a powerful medicine as well. Sometimes it is one of the most powerful of remedies. My husband always brought it in abundance to all the infirm. Let that be your first lesson. Now, off with you. I have dusting to do." She began to go about organizing various vials and strange tools and the like. Valerius couldn't wait to know what each potion and device where used for.
He ran home.
His father surprised him with his willingness to allow him to follow the course that he described with such excitement. "Son, I have seen the natural skill that the Lord has given you. I cannot in good conscience deny you the calling that is clearly ordained. You have my blessing. I am proud of you. Don't think that this relieves you of all duties here on our farm. When you aren't busy healing the sick and populating our village with new life, there will still be fields to plow and stock to feed. Are we in agreement?"
Valerius extended his hand. His father clasped it and solemnly shook it. The career of Valerius the Physician began.
"I need some supplies in town. Lady Trellitia suggested some items to begin with."
"I see.' Lady Trellitia' is it? As I recall, isn't that the same woman you youngsters referred to as the Black Witch of the Dead Forest?"
"Oh, Father. That was just the silly games of children at play. None of us actually believed that." His smile was somewhat disingenuous.
His father was highly amused. How quickly you've grown. He remembered a young Valerius of perhaps four years, crying in fear after being told that the witch had cast a spell on him. Father, Father. I shall wake up on the 'morrow a toad! He could still hear his voice. It touched him now to see his son standing before him, a grown man. "Get your supplies, son." The village awaits its new physician.

~~~~~~~~Valerius in town

Valerius walked to his cart laden with supplies suggested to him by Lady Trellitia. He noticed the commotion caused by Abramus and his two children. He placed his packages in his cart and went to investigate. He went as the town physician. He was young and uneducated, but he was the only physician in the village. He knew the family well enough to exchange a friendly greeting. He knew Cassius and had played with him as a young boy. He knew Julia, but not very well. She seldom left the farm and was rumored to be feeble minded or possessed by demons depending upon whom you asked.
He addressed Abramus. "Is all well? I am the village physician now. I am happy to assist if there is a need."
"No, Valerius. We are well. Just a squabble among siblings. Nothing of concern. I am pleased that you have become serious about your interest in the healing ways. That will be of great benefit to our little community. It is half a day's ride to a physician now."

Julia had been standing there with her head downcast. She glanced up and saw Valerius and the light returned to her eyes. "It is you. I thought that you had crossed over never to be seen again. Yet, here you stand before me. It is me, Julia. You saved my life most unexpectedly. I am so pleased to see you. I don't believe I offered my gratitude properly." She extended her hand to a stunned Valerius.



Advice, suggestions, and input all gratefully accepted. Your help has been wonderful. Thank you so much.

This is listed as "Fantasy" for lack of a suitable category. There is philosophy in this as well as grains of non-fiction.
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